Eagles trying to work themselves into basketball shape

By Austin Bishop

Webster Progress-Times


In his nine years as a basketball coach, Danya Turner has developed a pretty simple philosophy. “We are gong to do whatever it takes to win the ball game,” Turner, the first-year boys head coach at Eupora High School, said.

He also knows that it may take a while for him to be able to tell exactly what direction to take his Eagles. Due to being involved in the MHSAA Football Playoffs, the basketball team has only played a pair of games so far this season.

“They are trying to learn me and I’m trying to see what they can and can’t do,” Turner said of the preseason practices and early season games. “Coming off the football field, we are having to learn not to be so aggressive. We still have a lot of football in us. It will take two or three mores games to kind of get that worked out.”

Turner said he would be counting on returning starters Trey Pittman, Chance Cooper and Deon Watkins, as well as Lamontae Salley, Jaquille Wright and Corson Gunn.

“We are going to plush the ball when we can,” Turner said of his preferred style. “I want to run the break, but I also want us to play smart basketball. We want to win. If it means run with the ball, then we will run. If we have to slow it down, then we will slow it down.”

While there may be no 6-foot-6 post players on his team, Turner said his Eagles have good height across the board. “We have a lot of guys who are about 6-1, or 6-2,” he said “That’s the biggest team I’ve ever coached.”

Eupora opened the season with a 70-58 loss to Calhoun City, then bounced back to beat Choctaw County 54-49. The Eagles are set to take part in the Louisville Classic against Noxapater on Saturday, before playing Bruce, Kosciusko and Noxapater next week.